I Don't Get It

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
There's a lot of things I don't get. In fact, you could build a monument to the things I don't get, including calculus, the nature of time, and why people would rather be petty than do the right thing.

But that doesn't mean I don't try. With the exception of the on-its-face-stoopid (::cough::Young Earth Creationism::cough::), I do make an effort to expand my intellectual horizons. In spite of my trepidation regarding all things numerically related, I took statistics last semester, and got an "A." I'm currently listening to Sean Carroll's book, From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time.* I continue to explore human nature as it relates to the decisions people make, and make an effort to see things from someone else's point of view.

But here's something I really don't get, and really have no desire to make an effort to "get it:" People who lack any sort of intellectual curiosity.

I simply don't understand how someone can spend their life doing the same things every day, performing the same tasks, watching the same insipid reality television, never reading anything, and never learning anything new. Every day's the same as the last. Every conversation is predicated on outside influence, because there's no life of the mind.

Aren't they bored? What do they talk about? How do they form their opinions?

Really - I don't get it at all.

___________
*In chapter three, Dr. Carroll referred to certain sections of the universe as lumpy. This has earned him a place in my celebrity seraglio. Hee.

11 comments:

Phiala said...

That. I don't get it either. How do you not stretch, expand? Try new things? And how can you not read? At all? People don't. WTF.

Janiece said...

Phiala, it's funny you should bring up the "not reading" thing. I was talking to one of my gal-pals, and we decided that having a romantic partner that reads, regardless of the genre, is a mandatory qualification. Non-negotiable.

WTF, indeed.

The Mechanicky Gal said...

It is all beyond me also. Although, the Mechanicky Guy doesn't read, but he HAS read. He just asks me about things, so he gets my opinions. Not sure if that is good or bad at this point. But he IS getting more into things (computer, current events). I think he gets more reality at work than he ever bargained for. And since we work at the same place, so do I.....

Phiala said...

There's a newer survey, but a quick search found only this 2007 link: "A poll released last month by The Associated Press and Ipsos, a market-research firm, found that the typical American read only four books last year, and one in four adults read no books at all."

The newer poll defined an "avid reader" as one who read 5-9 books a year.

Now, my friends are certainly atypical in a number of ways, but all of us are likely to read that much most months.

Which reminds me - I need to update my Goodreads list. But not now; I have reading to do.

Jeri said...

5-9 books a year? Ouch.

Yeah, reading is on my must-have list in a mate. Come to think of it, my ex didn't. My family does. My boys do. (My foster son doesn't... hmmm.)

I do have to admit to sometimes just being too freaking tired to be very intellectually curious. Just - whatever. I'll figure it out tomorrow. I guess that's kind of lazy. :)

Janiece said...

Jeri, that's not lazy. Reading for most "avid readers" (and I mean that in the way that we think of, rather than that "5-9 books a year" nonsense) is a hobby and a source of pleasure. Why turn it into a chore? When you're mentally acute, then learn something new. When you're not, watch the tube or read Stephanie Plum. :-)

Mrs. Bitch said...

Isn't Stephanie Plum a guilty pleasure? You've read one, you've read them all, but I snatch the new ones up for an entertaining read as quick as Evanovich cranks them out.

I can't believe a movie has never been made of any of those books. When they first came out, I always pictured Sandra Bullock as Plum and Estelle Getty as Grandma Mazur.

Thordr said...

I think part of it is that people hate, change. Anything that gets outside of thier familair comfort zone is a no-no. Bob forbid that they actually have to think for themselves, poeple in general really hate to do that.

WendyB_09 said...

Only 5-9 books is all that is required for an avid reader?

Geez, I can do 5-9 in a month if I'm bored! They'd probably think that's obsessive!

My job alone is different and varied every day. Granted, some days it is pure production mode and I live in the work room at the copier. But when I'm in proof mode I have to be able to understand and argue the finer legal points in the documents and let the boss know if they don't make sense. And that my friends, requires a lot of brain power.

(of course, after those kind of days I do tend to go home and watch vapid, insipid TV because my brain is fried...after Jeopardy of course!)

Anne C. said...

I think the other factor is time. TV is generally so insipid you can have it on at the same time as you do other things. Reading requires 100% attention. I would love to read more, but I have things to do every evening (of course, if I'm fried, it's watch TV and catch up on blog reading time.
Of course, even with that restriction, I manage to hit the 5-9 books pretty easily.

MWT said...

Hmm. I suck. T.T

I think for me there's either "drop everything and do nothing but read, letting every other aspect of life go" or "don't read." Since I unfortunately have to do other things, I've gone with the latter for the last ten years. For a while I managed to only read one or two chapters of something per night, but really, getting myself to stop and sleep is hard. And then I had to force myself not to sneak the book to work with me and etc. >.>

(Not that this probably has anything to do with the type of people in the original post. I don't know how they aren't bored either.)